A world apart from lowland Cambodia, Mondulkiri Province (ខេត្តមណ្ឌលគិរី) is the original Wild East of the country. This region is home to the hardy Bunong people and their noble elephants. Dotted with waterfalls and rivers, cloaked in forest, Mondulkiri is an eco-tourist’s paradise and a hiker’s dream.
Mondulkiri means ‘Meeting of the Hills’, the landscape is a seductive mix of pine trees, greenery hills and windswept valleys that fade intriguingly into forests of jade green and hidden waterfalls. Wild animals, such as bears, leopards and especially elephants, are more numerous here than elsewhere, although sightings are usually limited to birds, monkeys and the occasional wild pig.
The hill tribe people have long used elephants to negotiate the narrow jungle paths, and elephant trekking has developed into a favourite way for visitors to explore this wilderness rich in wildlife and bird species. This unspoiled mountain province offers elephant treks through Mondulkiri’s dense jungle with a mahout from one of the local hill tribes. Members of these ethnic minorities have tamed elephants for centuries to explore their remote wilderness and now offer visitors the same opportunity.
Cemeteries, shrines and other religious expressions of the animist hill tribes are common to stumble across during treks into the jungle surrounding the sleepy capital of Sen Monorom, and their unique thatched homes and bridal houses are often perched high above the ground on long stilts.
Conservationists & private sector groups have grand plans for the province, creating wildlife sanctuaries and initiating sustainable tourism activities will helps to maintain and develop into another level prosperity.